The holidays are right around the corner, which means one thing: family travel. Whether you’re taking a road trip to grandma’s house or going farther afield on a Thanksgiving family adventure, you need all of the family travel hacks that you can get your hands on.
So, without further ado, here are five of my favorite tips to remove some of the stress from your holiday wanderings.
1. Have a Plan B
Between your kids, your luggage, and your travel details, you’ve got a lot on your mind. So, you need a solid Plan B should an unforeseen event arise while you’re traveling. Thank goodness for scanners!
From passports to drivers’ licenses, travel insurance policies to birth certificates, scan all of your important documents and store them in one easily accessible digital location. That way, it’ll prove a cinch to recover any essential information that gets lost, especially with baggage. Scanned copies of lost documents also make it easier for embassies and travel companies to replace them.
2. Road Trip Salvation
Here’s a hack that’ll save your car’s backseat if you have a family road trip in your near future. Cover the backseats of your vehicle with fitted sheets. They’ll catch crumbs, messes, and small toys so that nothing unpleasant gets lodged between your seats.
If your kids have a history of spilling beverages in your car, opt for fitted waterproof mattress covers and heavy-duty floor mats. That way, you know with certainty that your car’s upholstery and carpeting will live to see another day.
3. Zip It
While we’re on the subject of keeping things dry, be sure to pack Ziplock bags in a variety of sizes. They come in handy for organizing travel documents and passports, and they also keep these important items clean and dry.
Because of their transparency, they make accessing important documents quickly a breeze even when your purse contains every snack, game, and children’s book known to humanity. When packing your travel documents bag, make sure to place your itinerary on top for easy access.
4. Pack Strategically & Comfortably
When it comes to packing light, you may find that it’s better to work thematically than per person. For example, consider placing all of your family’s clothes in one bag, all of your shoes in another, and all of your miscellaneous items (like toys) in another. That way, you only have one bag of clothes to sort through to find pajamas in the evening rather than three.
Now, a word about the clothes that you pack. While we all fantasize about family vacation pictures with our children in adorable (and probably uncomfortable) outfits, make coziness a top priority. Comfy kids are happy kids. That means soft, baggy layers and even pajamas. In fact, kids love the novelty of wearing their PJs during airplane flights, and these clothes also put them in the right mood for some in-flight snoozing.
5. Time to Spare
When you’ve got little ones in tow, you know to plan for the unexpected. You also understand that life with kids means everything takes much longer than it used to. So, don’t skimp when it comes to giving yourself extra time at the airport.
Most airports suggest arriving two hours before domestic departure times and three hours before international flights. Assume you’ll need every minute of those hours, if not more. Better safe than sorry. Once you’ve arrived, look for an airport play area to tire your kiddos out before the flight. Or, go for a walk together to help your children relax and get over pre-flight jitters.
Family Travel Hacks that Work
Have you found any of these family travel hacks to be helpful? Any you’d like to add? Let us know in the comments below.
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We’re here to help you and your family experience the world, its peoples, and its cultures. Contact us today to learn more about the unforgettable experiences that we handcraft to introduce kids to the world and create better global citizens.